Rosanne Welch, PhD, Author of Why The Monkees Matter, presents “How The Monkees Changed Television” at a Cal State Fullerton Lunch Lecture on May 8, 2018.
In this talk, she shows how The Monkees, and specifically their presence on television, set the stage for large changes to come in the late 1960s.
Peter Tork, who’s pretty brilliant, said they probably got a larger audience for this anti-war point of view than even The Beatles did because TV was free and young kids couldn’t always afford to buy an album and The Beatles weren’t on TV every week, The Monkees were, so their message got through to those kids on a more regular basis.
Who can guess who’s Peter Tork sitting with at the Monterey Pop Festival? Janis Joplin! There’s a whole lot of talk about how nobody took them seriously. People in the music business took them seriously because they were selling millions of records. They hung out together. They played music and jammed at each other’s houses over the weekend. They were all friends. It was the critics who didn’t take their music seriously and as I was discussing before we started their music has legs and is still around so the critics were wrong for once.
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About Rosanne Welch, PhD
Rosanne Welch, PhD is a writer, producer and university professor with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, Touched by an Angel and ABC NEWS/Nightline. Other books include Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture (McFarland, 2017) and Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection (ABC-CLIO, 2017), named to the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List, by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association. Welch has also published chapters in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television (I.B.Tauris) and The American Civil War on Film and TV: Blue and Gray in Black and White and Color (Lexington Books, 2018) and essays in Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology and Outside In Makes it So, and Outside in Boldly Goes (both edited by Robert Smith). By day she teaches courses on the history of screenwriting and on television writing for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting programs. Her talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP is available on YouTube.